How to Start a Story You are Afraid to Tell

** Mommy Daze: Say What?? Is happy to host author B.Lynn Goodwin and introduce her candid love story, ‘Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62’, as part of her WOW-WomenOnWriting Blog Tour.**

How To Start a Story You Are Afraid To Tell

Author: B.Lynn Goodwin

How was I going to tell readers that I’d never gone beyond a platonic relationship without admitting that I was way too chaste for a woman of 62? And how could I stand the embarrassment of that?

You’ll find the answer in Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62, which is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and from indie bookstores. It’s distributed by Ingram. Much as I’d like you to buy a copy, that’s not the point of this article.

Remember, no one can tell your story but you, and if fear deprives you of doing so, one day it will be gone forever.

So how do you overcome the fear?

One approach is to confront it head on. Make a list all the things you are afraid of:

  • What Dad will think
  • What your partner will think
  • The truth might send me to jail

Figure out a way to counter each fear if it comes up. Journaling about it will help as long as you keep writing through the fear.

  • If Dad can’t handle the truth, that’s his problem, not mine.
  • Time to make amends and ask for forgiveness. It works.
  •  Isn’t there a statute of limitations?
  •  Could I write this anonymously?

Worried that someone might find your journal?

  • Put the cursive journal at inside an old purse you never use or behind the Bible. It will be safe.
  • Put the word processing journal in a file labeled Insurance 2009. No one will ever look there.
  • You can use initials instead of names. It’s faster and more private.

After you’ve started your journal, keep reporting events. Include your reactions to the events you record. It’s important material. Remember, you’re just generating clay right now. If you need a little more help, try some sentence starts.

  • I want to write about…
  • I got so mad/messed up/overwhelmed/scared/hopeful when . . .
  • I need to explain . . .
  • I’d like to really understand what led me to . . .

Finish the sentence and keep going.

As you write, have the courage to identify problems and explore them instead of circumventing them.

  • Identify behaviors you would change if you could
  • List events of the story you are afraid to tell
  • List results of the story you are afraid to tell
  • Make a list of reasons for telling the story
  • List images associated with the story
  • List people and groups that this story might help

Lists are easy to write and as you get going, truths emerge. When you finish, go back and underline 3-5 ideas, phrases, or sentences that you want to know more about. These are places to dig deeper.

Once you have your first draft of a story, you have material to revise, edit, tighten, polish, and share. You can’t do that without the material. You have to start!

If you’re looking at the big picture, including publication, you should know that I found my publisher accidentally. An acquisitions editor at Koehler Books had entered one of Writer Advice’s Contests. She told her editor she’d never read anything like this Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62. She loved it and you will too.

Author Bio

How to Start a Story You are Afraid to Tell   B. Lynn Goodwin owns Writer Advice, www.writeradvice.com.

Her memoir, Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62 was just released by Koehler Press.

She’s written You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers and Talent, which was short-listed for a Literary Lightbox Award, won a bronze medal in the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards and was a finalist for a Sarton Women’s Book Award.

Goodwin’s work has appeared in Voices of Caregivers, Hip Mama, Dramatics Magazine, Inspire Me Today, The Sun, Good Housekeeping.com, Purple Clover.com and many other places. She is a reviewer and teacher at Story Circle Network, and she is an editor, writer and manuscript coach at Writer Advice.

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14 Comments

  1. February 8, 2018 / 9:43 am

    I’m almost 35 years old, and still single. I am glad though that you were able to find a husband recently! 🙂 Great advice on telling a story that is tough to tell though! There are still a few stories that I am afraid to tell, but mostly I’m not afraid anymore. I figure the people that hurt me can only kill the body, but not the soul and that God will protect me.

    • ashleyb21
      Author
      February 8, 2018 / 5:00 pm

      She is a really great author. I was very pleased to be able to read her story and share about it. This is her guest post. It is so great that you liked her advice an it’s so true people can never kill your soul. I’m glad you are mostly not afraid anymore I will be sure to share your comment with the author

    • February 9, 2018 / 1:49 am

      LOVE your attitude. Thanks for sharing this, Patricia. Can’t wait to read your stories.

      Lynn

      Managing Editor of http://www.writeradvice.com
      Author of Talent and You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers
      blynngoodwin.com
      Most Recent Book: Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62 —available at Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62: B Lynn Goodwin: 9781633936089: Amazon.com: Books, Barnes & Noble and from indie bookstores. Distributed by Ingram.

  2. February 8, 2018 / 11:07 am

    Great advice! I’ve had a few stories I’ve been afraid to tell for those reasons.

    • February 9, 2018 / 1:49 am

      I’ve freed myself up a great deal by putting this book out in the world. :::uploading encouragement:::

  3. February 8, 2018 / 12:42 pm

    This is great advice! I find this with blogging – I know that the honest stories are going to resonate most with people, but I feel very exposed putting certain parts of my story out there for the whole world to read.

    • February 9, 2018 / 1:51 am

      Exposed. Yup.

      It’s like showing up for an X-ray. You have to identify the problem before you can heal it, right?

      Lynn

  4. February 8, 2018 / 6:14 pm

    What fantastic advice this is! I loved this book and getting over that fear of telling your story is such an important part of the healing process. Thank you for the post!

  5. February 8, 2018 / 6:51 pm

    I was delighted to post this. In fact I should save it to read in my down and dark moments.

    Lynn

  6. February 8, 2018 / 11:14 pm

    I have not read this book, but looks like really excellent information. Thank you!

  7. February 9, 2018 / 6:55 am

    These are great examples of how to address your fears! I am a big fan of writing things down – anything really. Helps me really express what’s on my mind, even if it starts out as a heaping mess of info!

  8. February 9, 2018 / 8:59 am

    I’ve read a few other pieces by her! She’s always inspiring. Her posts always leave me feeling better after I read them! I think it’s a great idea to directly address our fears.

  9. February 9, 2018 / 3:05 pm

    I love this post. You actually shared advice which is easy to implement. My fav. “Put the word processing journal in a file labeled Insurance 2009. No one will ever look there.”

    ❥ tanvii.com

  10. February 9, 2018 / 3:22 pm

    I’m not a mother but I am very close with my nephews and will be taking your advice next time I take care of them!

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